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SmackDown! Spoilers
February 20, 2002

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


The WWF followed up a light-on-wrestling RAW with another night of light-on-wrestling tapings last night in Rockford, IL.  SmackDown! will feature a grand total of three actual wrestling matches; though, in fairness, it should be noted that a couple other big, extended brawls featured plenty of physical action (albeit no decisive finishes).

Readers who submitted reports from the tapings were split between whether the non-wrestling happenings were enough to carry an entertaining show...  so what I'll do here is just warn you that if you don't want Thursday's broadcast spoiled, you should hit BACK now, and proceed to try to do a value-judgment-free compilation of the tapings results so that you can make your own call.

Here goes:

-  Dark matches:  Scotty 2 Hotty and Albert beat Ron Waterman and Brock Lesnar...  Mr. Perfect and Leviathan beat Randy Orton and Shelton Benjamin.

-  Heat matches:  William Regals used his brass knucks to beat Rikishi...  Booker T beat Val Venis (Booker got some babyface pops during the match)...  Tajiri beat Hurricane Helms in a good match...  Test (using Reno's old "Roll of the Dice" finisher) beat the Godfather.

-  SmackDown! opens with Vince on the FistTron making an announcement that as a result of Monday's attack, the nWo will have to make a public apology to the Rock.  This is their official punishment under the law, and it was set up by WWF lawyers.

-  Kurt Angle hit the ring after the opening theme and pyro, and got all pissy about losing his WrestleMania title shot.  He says he's standing in the ring till somebody comes out so he can "go Olympic."  Kane comes out, and after a brief brawl, Angle gets the upper hand and suplexes Kane through the announce table.  Angle locks in the ankle lock until officials finally break it up.

-  Backstage:  Undertaker asks Ric Flair if he's reconsidered Taker's challenge for a match at WrestleMania.  Flair says no, he hasn't.  Taker promises he'll change his mind by Monday.

-  Next up, the FistTron shows a full 15-20 minute recap of all things nWo from RAW, including the full Rock/Hogan promo and ambulance attack.  Recappers may have been split on whether this was an effective overall show or not, but they all agreed that this was annoying as all hell.  One report says they might have just been killing time because they had to rebuild the announce table, and that this nonsense won't make it to broadcast.

-  Re-do Time:  Angle comes back out and calls out Kane again.  They re-do the outside the ring brawling, and Kane again takes a bump through the announce table.  Guess it didn't look good the first time through.

-  The nWo hits the ring and does their public apology.  Nash is obviously reading from prepared notes, and Hall is talking in kind of a mocking tone of voice, raising doubts about the nWo's sincerity.  But then Hogan eases our minds by saying they REALLY apologize, and that they aren't just doing this cuz the lawyers told them to.  Awwww.  Then Steve Austin comes out, driving a pick-up truck, to break things up.  The nWo scatters.

-  The nWo are shown trying to get away backstage, but when they find their black limo, there's a giant white "WHAT?" spray-painted on it.  As they stand around confused, Austin comes hurtling in in his truck.  The nWo scatters again, and Austin gives chase on foot.

-  After all that, it's time for the FIRST MATCH of SmackDown!...  Edge defeats Christian, using that new half Texas Cloverleaf/half Sharpshooter looking thing he used on RAW.  After the match, Christian told fans he wouldn't give them the satisfaction of throwing a tantrum.  Instead, he announced that he QUIT.  Hmmm...

-  Backstage, the nWo find sanctuary in Vince McMahon's office...  but Scott Hall is not with them.  Hogan and Nash decide to stay in the office rather than risk running afoul of Austin in search of Hall.

-  The Hardys and Rob Van Dam teamed up to beat the Dudleys and Lance Storm in what was widely praised as the "only other good match" of the night (along with Heat's Tajiri/Hurricane match).  RVD got the pin on Storm after Lita got involved and hit a hurricarana, followed up by the Five Star frog splash.

-  Next up, Billy and Chuck beat Tazz and Spike Dudley to win the WWF Tag Team Titles.  Billy pinned Spike relatively cleanly.  Logic check:  Billy and Chuck LOST the #1 contender match at No Way Out, right?  But they get a title shot BEFORE the APA?  Ummm...  What?

-  Backstage, Billy and Chuck get interviewed about their win, only to be reminded by the APA that they've got a title shot coming up at WrestleMania.  Yippee?

-  Stephanie McMahon hits the ring to get us back to the sweet, sweet non-wrestling promo action.  She says she promises that HHH will not win the WWF Title, ever.  This brings out the champ, Chris Jericho, who promptly declares that he takes back every bad thing he ever said about Steph.  He said those things just because he was trying to entertain the fans, but now he realizes the fans aren't worth it, and he can go public with his real thoughts about Stephanie:  that she's an evil genius, and he respects her.  Before you know it, Steph and Jericho are shaking hands as they are now business partners going into WrestleMania.

-  Steph and Jericho go to the announce table for the main event, which is scheduled to be HHH vs. the Undertaker.  However, as soon as HHH comes out, he gets into a brawl with Jericho.  Then, when Undertaker makes his entrance, he trades maybe 4 punches with HHH before he just gets back on his bike and leaves.  Huh?  That's it:  no match.  I guess THIS is supposed to change Flair's mind?

-  Luckily, Austin's on stand-by with his own main event Sports Entertainment Segment.  Austin drives his truck back into the arena, and drags Scott Hall's carcass out of the truck bed.  There's a big promo in which Austin says he'll stomp Hall's body every time the crowd chants "What?", which generates the predictable results.  Austin finally lets Hall up, and offers to share a beer with him.  Hall, readily accepts, but gets Stunnered before he can drink it down.  Austin closed the show by tearing Hall's shirt off and spray painting "3:16" on Hall's back.  

Looks like Austin/Hall, Angle/Kane, Taker/Flair, and APA/Billy&Chuck are all gonna be on for WrestleMania...  not sure if those are some of the directions I'd have gone, but let's just wait and see how all of it plays out on Thursday night.  Admittedly, the Austin/Hall segment does sound like it'll be a lot of fun, so maybe that'll wind up being a quality showdown.

Check out SmackDown! in its as-broadcast form on Thursday night, and then come on back here on Friday for Eitan's recap and other thoughts from the show.


Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.


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